As you are probably aware, we pay a ton of dough to the law firm that Teresa Highsmith is currently associated with. How much of a ton of dough you should ask? A real lot of dough. This screen shot from the City of Sierra Madre "Consent Calendar" is just for the last few weeks alone. It is a whole lot of taxpayer generated wealth for a comparatively compact stretch of work. Check it out if that is what you would like to do.
$27,657.40 for a relatively short period of work is damn good money where I come from. Rest assured dear reader, similarly robust financial statements for legal product (as they say) hit the city's virtual cash register all year long. As is fitting for any law firm that specializes in keeping the townies from ever getting what it is they want.
You know, like a community safe from the predatory megabucks development firms that seem to have carte blanche at City Hall? I mean, when was the last time you were invited to break Twinkies in private with the City Manager?
Not that long ago the City Council conducted a talent search to see if we could get a better City Attorney. One that would take a more egalitarian approach to this city's pressing legal needs while perhaps not costing quite so much.
And you'd think that during this so-called process City Staff might have done a bit of due diligence and looked into these potential City Attorney candidates a little bit more. You know, checked out the names on Google first. Including that of our current City Attorney, Teresa Highsmith. Because if that finger had been lifted they would have found things like the following (link):
A former City Attorney suing the city she used to work for (or, in this case, threatening to sue the city she used to work for) is not usually what people are hoping to see hanging around their downtown. I mean, what would a city have to do, hire a new City Attorney with special legal expertise in protecting them from former City Attorneys? That could become complicated.
And that little bit about Highsmith's current partner, Michael Colantuono, who she hired back then when apparently working for both him and Alameda (and at the same time?), having a screaming fit in public sure made me want to dig deeper into my pockets and pay even more for these kinds of idiosyncratic legal representation.
You can check out the erstwhile lawsuit Teresa Highsmith laid on her ex-employers at the City of Alameda by clicking here. For the record, she eventually dropped this mess. Probably because it stank on ice.
You can also read another SFGate article from John Knox White on these fascinating Highsmith controversies by clicking here. The video mentioned above can be found there as well. Another article is linked here.
Teresa Highsmith and, at least by proxy, her boss Michael Colantuono, are the people who will be sharing their legal pronouncements with us tonight on the issue of a building (or is that water) moratorium.
Doesn't that make you feel better about all of this?